Ball State Women’s Basketball (6-9, 1-2 MAC) fell behind in the second half and was never able to recover against Ohio (13-1, 2-1 MAC). Here are 4 key factors that played a part in the Cardinals lost to the Bobcats 90-75.
Third quarter slump
In the first half it was anyone’s game. In the second quarter Ball State started to lose control of the game and found themselves down by 14, however, the Cardinals responded with a 10-1 run to end the second quarter giving Ohio just a five-point advantage, 40-35.
But coming out of halftime the Bobcats turned up the intensity and outscored the Cardinals 22-10 in the third quarter. Ball State struggled to find any offense in the quarter and shots just were not falling for the Cardinals. They shot 5-17 from the field and wasn’t able to knockdown a single three-point shot ending the quarter shooting 0-7 from deep.
“In those moments you just focus on execution… and I don’t know if either team’s execution was much different, they knocked some down and we didn’t,” head coach Brady Sallee said. “[Ohio] made the run and we did some things to try and stop it and kept fighting through the whole thing, but their ability to knockdown some shot when they had them, we knew they were capable of it and they came here and did it.”
Ohio took advantaged of Ball State’s troubles, and everything seemed to be going the right way for the Bobcats. Ohio shot an efficient 7-13 from the field in the third quarter.
Making it rain from downtown
Ohio made a living from the 3-point line and it worked in their favor as they shot 15-35 from behind the arc in the contest. The Bobcats found their rhythm from deep to start the second quarter as they knocked down five three pointers in nine attempts.
“That’s what they do, they are shot makers.” Sallee said. “It’s a unique system and one that [Ohio coach Bob Bolden] has developed and he developed it well.”
The Cardinals found key guards found themselves in early foul trouble, which limited some of their playing time that they are accustomed to. Senior guard Jasmin Samz, who averages about 29 minutes per game, picked up her fourth personal foul in the third quarter and only finished the game playing about 17 minutes. Samz was only able to take four shots and she made three of them giving her six points in the contest, she averages about 8 shot attempts per game so far this season. Freshman guard Abi Haynes fouled out in the fourth quarter with 8:10 remaining to play.
“It was brutal,” Salle said when talking about Ball State’s foul trouble. “It was a tough sledding trying to play without fouling and still follow the game plan.”
Young players showcase their talent
Although Ball State had some of their key guards in foul trouble, it gave some of the other players a chance to show off their skill and they did just that. Sophomore guard Maliah Howard-Bass lead the Cardinals in scoring with 16 points. Howard-Bass attempted 19 shots showing the confidence she has in her shot.
“My teammates give me my confidence, feeding me when I’m open and helping me get open shots,” Howard-Bass said.
Freshman guard Gabby Smith notched a new career high with 13 points shooting 5-8 from the field and freshman forward Thelma Dis Agustsdottir also scored 13.
“It’s always good to see the young ones step up regardless of the situation,” Sallee said. “When you recruit them you know what you got in them and when they come out and get to show it, you’re just proud of them.”
Contact Daric Clemens with any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @DClemens.